MS WPC - Microsoft: Search wins tied to sales compensation

Microsoft is tying partner compensation to specific product deployments, including enterprise search

Microsoft is emphasizing areas of its business where it needs to catch up to competitors by tying partner team compensation to specific product deployments, such as enterprise search, a top executive said Tuesday.

At the Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Lynch said in a keynote that field leaders for Microsoft partner teams in countries around the world will be compensated more this year for making customer wins in key product areas.

In addition to enterprise search design wins -- particularly against Google -- Microsoft will pay more compensation to partner team field leaders in several other product areas where Microsoft is late to market against entrenched competitors, such as the Microsoft Dynamics business applications and Forefront Security product suite, he said.

Other product deployments that will earn teams more compensation are: Office Sharepoint Server licensing and growth, including wins against IBM's Lotus Notes; SQL Server revenue growth, in particular competitive wins against Oracle and IBM; Windows Server license and revenue growth, particularly wins against Linux; and unified communications using Office Communications Server 2007, which will be available later this year.

"These are the key metrics that your field, the people that support you in the world, what they get compensated on in the next year," Turner said, speaking to thousands of partners Tuesday.

Other areas of focus that will win partner field support teams more compensation are customer satisfaction, which remains top of mind at Microsoft to help partners be successful in the field, Turner said. In fact, he offered customers the option of contacting him directly if they come across unhappy or dissatisfied customers that Microsoft could help placate.

"We're not going to let our competition out-think, out-run or out-hustle us," he said. "We're asking you to take customer service and customer satisfaction to the next level. I want to know if there is something in the way of taking care of a customer and treating them the way they should be treated."

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